Posted in Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Jill Williamson’s Captives

About

One choice could destroy them all. When eighteen-year-old Levi returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, he never imagined he’d find his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed by enforcers, and many—including his fiancee, Jem–taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Land, a walled city that seems anything but safe. Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away to Denver City, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land like nomads and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Land has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams. Meanwhile, Jem is locked in a cell, awaiting the Safe Landers’ plan to protect their future by seizing her own. Can Levi uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Land’s facade before it’s too late?

Review

You can’t help but get excited when another novel by Ms. Williamson comes out! In this novel you have three brothers who are very different going through the same or similar situations. Can I just say that Mason is my favorite? I feel like he’s the voice of reason while his brothers stumble along. The book takes place in a futuristic America that is very different yet very much the same as our times. There were some moments when I was slightly confused about how the society worked, but this doesn’t last long. Overall, this book immediately drew me in and had me captivated. There was a certain point were it slowed a bit (I think because for me, certain character’s points of views were more interesting than others) and I wasn’t sure where it was going, but it picked right back up and when I reached the last page I was upset to discover that it was over. Spiritually, since this is America, God is still the same in this book and many characters recite and meditate on the scriptures. I have a feeling, He will become even more important as the series continues. Great start to a new series and I can’t wait till the next one comes out!

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Posted in Contemporary, Young Adult

Shannon Dittemore’s Broken Wings

About

Angels with wings of blade. Demons with renewed sight. And a girl who has never been more broken.

Brielle has begun to see the world as it really is, a place where angels intermingle with humans. But just when she thinks she’s got things under control, the life she’s pieced together begins to crumble.

Her boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her. Something important.

And her overprotective father has turned downright hostile toward Jake. Brielle fears she’ll have to choose between the man who’s always loved her and the one who’s captured her heart.

Then she unearths the truth about her mother’s death and the nightmare starts. Brielle begins seeing visions of mysterious and horrible things.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who saw through the Terrestrial veil. When he pulls the demon Damien from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth with new eyes, the stage is set for the ultimate battle of good versus evil.

Brielle has no choice. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must fight. But can she fly with broken wings?

Review

This novel picks up right where the last one left off and I enjoyed seeing Jake and Brielle again. I find their romance to be sweet and endearing and I love the parts where they are together. Damien is up to his same old tricks though and is there to attempt to cause fear and confusion. You begin to get some hints into Jake’s past and some big answers to Brielle’s. You also learn more about the gifts that Jake and Brielle have. There were times I wasn’t sure where the novel was going, but I never felt at any time that I didn’t want to see what would happen next. However, I will warn you that this one ends in a cliffhanger like the last, but at least book three comes out this year. The best thing about this novel, though, are the spiritual things. I love the emphasis on prayer and how with God, nothing is impossible. Good teen novel, although I don’t feel like you need to be a teen to really enjoy this book. Recommended.

Posted in Young Adult

Jill Williamson’s The New Recruit

About

Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club.
These guys mean business.
Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.

Review

Oh my goodness, I so loved this book! I already think Jill Williamson is the bees knees, but if I ever doubted her, this book took care of that. The best part of this book? Spencer’s voice. I love a strong male in a novel, and is this ever one. I mean Spencer was a typical 15 year old boy, with all of their baggage. And the mystery? So intriguing, I can’t wait until the next one comes out. Spiritually, Spencer is not saved, but he hangs out with a lot of saved people and I love how diverse they are. Usually in Christian novels you get the cookie cutter how Christians should be (nothing wrong with that), but by having some of them strong in their faith, some pushy, some weak, you get way more depth in this novel. You can see Spencer’s attitude toward God change in such a way that is completely believable. I also liked the use of spiritual gifts. The book made me want to spend more time with God to see what He is trying to tell me. Now, that’s a sign of a great book. Don’t let the cover fool you, this is not just for kids. Highly Recommended!

Posted in Contemporary, Young Adult

Judy Christie’s Wreath

About

What do you do when you’re too young to be on your own but have no one to turn to? Sixteen-year-old Wreath Willis makes a list: Find a place to live. Buy cheap food. Finish high school. Get a job. Go to college. Now she’s finishing high school by day and squatting in a junkyard by night, flying below the authorities’ radar while she makes a few awkward friends and searches for an illusory “good life.” But when a teacher grows too suspicious, Wreath is afraid she’ll have to move on before she graduates. Could it be this was a good life?

Review

This novel was really unique to me. You have Wreath who is on the run and instead of going to a foster home for her last year of schooling she would rather live in a car in a junkyard (of course the fact that she is running from a scary guy might be a part of that reason as well). I thought there were moments in this book that were a little predictable, but there were moments in this book that were heart-wrenching as well. Wreath had a tough time and you couldn’t help but want to cheer her along as went. Throughout the novel you could see how God was there with her every step of the way because of all the people she met who cared about her. Though this novel introduced a love interest and had a few romantic like scenes, I would say this book was more about survival than some guy. An interesting book and certainly a learning experience. My heart goes out to those who find themselves in this situation and I can only pray that I act with the same grace that (most) people treated Wreath with. Recommended!

Posted in Historical, Young Adult

Cathy Gohlke’s Civil War Series

About

In William Henry is a Fine Name, they told Robert his best friend wasn’t human. Robert’s father assisted the Underground Railroad. His mother adamantly opposed abolition. His best friend was a black boy named William Henry. As a nation neared its boiling point, Robert found himself in his own painful conflict. The one thing he couldn’t do was nothing at all. William Henry is a coming-of-age story about a 12-year-old boy–and an entire country–that comes face to face with the evils of society, even within the walls of the church. In the safety of an uplifting friendship, he discovers the hope of a brighter day.
In I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, the bonds linking family and the lines separating enemies have become very blurry for 17-year-old Robert. With his father away fighting for the Union, Robert must decide to act alone in order to help his ailing mother, extricate his injured Confederate Uncle, and bring relief to his cousin, Emily. When he unwittingly gets entangled in a Confederate escape plot, Robert must forge his anger and shame into a new determination to save his family. And, perhaps, he must also realize that the saving might not be entirely up to him. Honor and duty to God and country aren’t as clear-cut as he hoped them to be.

Review

I so enjoyed these two books! Of course it was during one of my favorite eras in history (I have so many)! Even my modern, up-to-date, little sister loves these books. Because it is two books, I will do a general review. I preferred the first book to the second, but Robert is such a wonderful character that you can’t read the first book without wanting to read the second one. The first book draws you in immediately and once again, since its from the point of view of a male, friendship is the theme. William Henry is the best friend any kid could have, and let me warn you, bring some tissue paper when you read this book! Spiritually, Robert is raised in a Christian home and knows Jesus young, but when he realizes that there is evil in this world still, it does tests his faith at moments. You should read both books to get the conclusion of his spiritual journey. Good book! Highly Recommended!

Posted in Historical, Young Adult

Heather and Lydia Munn’s How Huge the Night

About

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.

Review

This was such a good book! But then again I like reading about the World War II era and I love the south of France (I lived there for a semester). Julien is angry with his family for moving from Paris to the south of France. He doesn’t know anyone. On top of that, his parents take in a Jewish boy his age and though Nazis are not welcome in France, Jews are not exactly popular people at the moment. He feels that his humiliation is complete. This book is so complex and so interesting, I wish there was a book two. First layer: his parents survived WWI and they bring their own fears to the table, Second, Julien has to deal with bullies of the first rate. Third, Julien has to try not to become a bully himself toward the boy in his home. Fourth, Hitler is invading. Five, there is a subplot with a girl and her brother (Jewish) trying to find safety. So good. This book is about friendship as there is no real romance in the story, but you still can’t put it down. Julien has to learn to treat people the way God would have them be treated–which is hard to do on so many levels (especially in his era!), but his character is so complex and so real you can’t help but love Julien. Highly Recommended!

Posted in Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Shannon Dittemore’s Angel Eyes

About

Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . . Angel Eyes

Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.
Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.
Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than either Brielle or Jake has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.
A realm that only angels and demons-and Brielle-can perceive.
Review
So another angel book here! This one is pretty unique as (as far as I know right now!) neither Jake or Brielle are supernatural or half supernatural beings. They just hang with supernatural beings! I really enjoyed this book although some elements of it were familiar (new hot guy at school who is different, yet into the main character) though a lot of it was new. Brielle has had a hard time and I’m kind of glad that when she met Jake he wasn’t the cure all. Jake is quite simply a keeper. I don’t want to give too much away about this book, but Brielle and Jake have a way to see into the supernatural world and one thing they notice is that fear is something that oozes out of people and becomes their prison. It’s Satan’s signal that you are open for attack. How clever and so true. It definitely had me checking myself out to see if I was walking in fear about anything. So excited for the next one to come out. Highly Recommended!